The Northeast has experienced a remarkably mild winter this year: one so eerily topsy-turvy that, on Christmas, New York City was warmer than Los Angeles. The unseasonably warm weather is partially due to El Niño, as well as an unusually strong polar vortex. But no matter where you are in the country, you should expect winters to get much warmer over the next hundred years… and the summers, too.
Climate Central has put together a couple of simple–yet horrifying–maps that show exactly where the temperatures in every American city are headed by 2100 if climate change continues at its current rate. One is for winter, while the other map is for summer, but no matter which map you look at, it’s all bad news.
In the winter map, you type in where you live, and the map draws a straight line to the U.S. city which currently has winters most similar to those your own city will experience in 2100. For example, I live in Boston, which currently experiences 115 nights below freezing every year. By 2100, though, Boston will only have 53 nights below freezing every years, making our winters much like those of Marietta, Georgia today. In turn, the winters in Marietta, Georgia, will feel more like San Antonio 85 years from now.
The summer map is just as sobering. By 2100, Boston’s average temperature on a summer day will go from 79 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit, making our summers the equivalent of a muggy summer day on Miami Beach–sans all the palm tress.
To create these maps, Climate Central used data from DayMet to calculate 1,001 American cities’ average winter temperatures, and PRISM for their summer temperatures. They then compared these temperatures to what is forecast for these same areas in 2100 according to the UN’s RCP8.5 scenario, a model which predicts what will happen to the Earth’s temperatures if we don’t cut back on CO2 emissions at all.
So if there’s a silver lining here, it’s this: it’s not too late to do something if you don’t want your snowy winter hometown to turn into a muggy swamp in the next 85 years. Though even by the UN’s most optimistic estimates, the heat’s getting turned up on the planet by 2100. So enjoy the weather while it lasts–it won’t be here for long.
[via Scientific American]